The 36th annual meeting of the Indian Medical Association of New England was held on November 22nd at the Cambridge Marriott Hotel in Boston. IMANE, which is one of the oldest physician organizations of Indian-Americans, is currently headed by Dr. Sajani Shah Kapasi, a surgeon specializing in Bariatric surgery.
Dr. Kapasi opened the meeting with a speech and the diya lighting ceremony. She invited each of the past 20 presidents of IMANE as well as other dignitaries individually to the stage to honor them in the lamp-lighting ceremony.
Several leading physicians spoke at the event, among them Dr. Ravi Jahagirdar, president of the American Association of Physicians of Indian Origin, who spoke of the vision and goals of AAPI and its current and future projects including the upcoming Jan. 2-4 Global Health Summit in India; Harvard Medical School professor Dr. Shalender Bhasin addressed the gathering on men’s health issues; Dr. Sanjay Shetty of the Stewart ACO’s physician group also addressed the gathering.
Dr. Sudhir Parikh, publisher of News India Times and recipient of India’s Padma Shri award, was a guest speaker but could not attend due to a family emergency. He told News India Times IMANE was a great organization that had achieved much over the years. He also encouraged organizations like IMANE to join new initiatives being opened up by the Modi government. “I’m particularly heartened by “Swasth India” program which IMANE could support more vigorously.”
Swasth India makes it possible for Indian-American doctors to select the areas they wish to serve in India and get formal approval from Medical Council of India within 15 days. “This is also a great way to rally the philanthropic impulses of young Indian-American doctors,” Dr. Parikh added.
Gastroenterologist Dr. Raj K.Goyal, the Mallinckrodt Professor of Medicine, Harvard Medical School and staff physician at Veterans Administration Boston Healthcare System, and his wife Prem Goyal, donated an initial $25,000 from the Raj & Prem Goyal Foundation for a perpetual “Distinguished Medical Achievement Award,” following Dr. Sajani Shah Kapasi’s appeal to members.
Dr. Kapasi is expected to set up a committee to award the grant annually. This award is separate from the existing Distinguished Physician Award which was awarded this year to Dr. Baltej Maini, a vascular surgeon, president of Maini Consulting Group.
The Community Service Award was given to Dr. Kunwar Singh for his “missionary zeal and dedication” to IMANE’s service projects for more than a decade, a release from IMANE said. Dr. Manorama Mathur, chair, IMANE Board of Trustees, Dr. Suresh Reddy, Dr. Kanu Patel and the emcees for the evening Dr. Paul Mathew and Dr. Sapna Aggarwal received the President’s Award.
Dr. Onaly Kapasi donated the money from the sale of his poetry book “MIND’s Eye” to IMANE Health Fair and the AAPI Charitable Foundation.
Dr. Seema Arora takes over at IMANE’s president starting Jan. 1. Members of the new Executive Committee include Dr. Sapna Aggarwal as president-elect, Dr. Sameer Kapasi as secretary, Dr. Subha Thiagrajan as treasurer, Drs. Paul Mathew and Devila Shah as members-at-large, Drs. Salil Midha, Geeta Trivedi, Teju Shah, Promod Shah and Vikas Desai as trustees .